Sore Winners

Clarence Thomas’s colloquy with John Yoo contained so many juicy mangoes that Paul’s post could not capture them all. For example:

“You would never visit Supreme Court justices’ houses when things didn’t go our way,” he said. “We didn’t throw temper tantrums. It is incumbent on us to always act appropriately, and not to repay tit for tat.”

Sure, conservatives might engage in widespread, sometimes violent resistance of a Supreme Court opinion, and somebody might get hurt or killed at a medical clinic in response to the decision the Court is about to overrule, but they wouldn’t hold a peaceful protest in front of the house of the country’s specialest snowflakes, and that’s what counts!

This argument I can only stare at in sheer awe:

He added that conservatives have “never trashed a Supreme Court nominee.” He acknowledged that Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s third Supreme Court nominee, “did not get a hearing, but he was not trashed.”

Leaving aside the fact that Sonia Sotomayor was most certainly “trashed” by Republicans with racist nonsense, Ketanji Brown Jackson was repeatedly charged with being soft on child porn by some of the smuggest phonies on the planet, the idea that it’s better to be denied a hearing at all than to have a hearing that results in your confirmation but also exposes you to criticism is just astounding. These people have 6 seats on the Supreme Court despite winning the popular vote once since 1988 and they are consumed with bitterness of how unfair the system is to them.

It also strikes me that Democrats can’t really be blamed for not choosing Supreme Court nominees who can be credibly accused by third parties of sexual harassment or assault, but anyway! The intelligence insulting will continue until morale improves:

Taking sides on a contested point, Justice Thomas said the Senate Republicans who blockaded Mr. Garland’s nomination were following a rule that President Biden, then a senator, had proposed, “which is you get no hearing in the last year of an administration.”

If only there were intervening events that would indicate whether Mitch McConnell was actually committed to this “principle”! Sadly, we’ll never know.

Oh, and remember when he blatantly perjured himself at his confirmation hearings?

On Friday, he said opposition to his nomination in 1991 was “by those people who were trying to keep me off the court over abortion.”

At his confirmation hearings, however, he said, to the astonishment of many, that he had never discussed Roe, even though it was issued while he was a student at Yale Law School.

Those people who thought Thomas was a liar sure like bad now!

Anyway, this is our present and foreseeable future — neoconfederate reactionaries imposing their unaccountable will on the public while resenting people for not loving them for it.

…Murc is exactly right:

I know precisely why these guys are sore winners.

The jurists who handed down the opinions and built the legal edifices undergirding modern civil rights that Thomas and his ilk are currently busy demolishing are basically renowned as titans. Some of them achieved that status even during their lives; I challenge you to find someone who was as beloved as Thurgood Marshall was when he died. Sure, there exists a powerful minority faction dedicated to undoing all their good work, but its just that; a minority faction.

The Federalist Society largely exists as a haven for those kooks and weirdoes who bitterly resent that all their law school professors keep saying that what I personally refer to as the Magnificent Seven (Brown, Gideon, Reynolds, Miranda, Loving, Griswold, and Roe) were correctly decided and that the CRA and VRA are entirely Constitutional. Those courts and that era are hallowed ground and are regarded as such in both the broader culture and the ivory tower.

Thomas and Alito et al. are not going to get that.

They are going to be regarded as vile, lawless traitors who destroyed their institution in the process of destroying the country. The broader culture has not, does not, and will not regard them as legal titans; it will regard them as vandals. Sure, a small cult will revere them. Much like Nixon, they don’t care about the reverence of a small cult. They want the country as a whole to turn to them and go “You were right, and we celebrate you for being right.” They want cultural acclaim. They don’t want to be yelled at and protested.

They know this, deep down. And it angers them, because they think they are owed. They did everything right and paid their dues and now they expect to implement their ideology and get the same acceptance of it their forebears did, because in their minds that is how it works. They are baffled that legitimacy and approval must be earned, because in their minds the things they’re destroying gained their legitimacy not from being manifestly correct, but because they were handed down by black robes and that MAKES them legitimate.

And to deny that feels to them like they’re being cheated.

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